State senators have rolled out their version of a $23.9 billion General Fund spending plan for the budget year that starts July 1. The Senate differs from the House in prioritizing pay raises for state workers. Neither chamber has included any money for addressing Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed Medicaid expansion. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, analyzes the Senate’s proposals. Whatever you think about the best way to fight crime, you likely support the idea that crime-fighting policies ought to work as intended. Brandon Garrett, professor at the Duke Law School, focuses on evidence-based criminal justice. He explains how his research could influence public policy. State lawmakers are debating a bill that would loosen restrictions on the state’s craft distilleries. You’ll hear why proponents are touting the measure as a jobs bill, while opponents want to preserve the state’s existing regulations. Fourth Amendment concerns cropped up during debate about a bill to help law enforcement agencies use technology to track missing people. The bill would allow authorities to proceed without a warrant in emergency situations. You’ll learn why some lawmakers raised constitutional objections. State government recently updated rules linked to N.C. livestock operations. The process causes concern for Donald van der Vaart, John Locke Foundation senior fellow. He explains why the revision seems to be based on discussions between state regulators and environmental activist groups, with little to no input from affected farmers.